Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
WICHITA – Hali Walters pitched her third straight shutout victory that pushed her scoreless inning streak to 27 in the Friends University Falcons’ 2-0 win over the Sterling College Lady Warriors in the opening tilt tonight (Apr. 9) at the Two Rivers Youth Complex. The Falcons then completed the sweep by scoring three runs in the sixth inning to rally for a 5-4 victory.
The Falcons have now won seven straight games to move to 17-14 overall and 10-4 in the KCAC.
After blanking Sterling through the first six innings, Walters escaped a first and third jam in the seventh by getting a sharp, unassisted double play to first baseman Mackenzie Nichols to finish the win.
Walters was dominant throughout, striking out a career-high 12 batters and walking just two.
Before providing a defensive gem that closed out the Falcon victory, Nichols gave Walters all the offensive support she’d need by blasting a solo homer to center in the bottom of the fourth.
Nichols then singled in the sixth and scored the Falcons’ second run on an RBI single from Hannah Lang. She finished the opening game 2-of-3 at the plate for Friends, while Miranda Escalera had three of the Lady Warriors’ six hits.
Teanne Edens was also effective in the circle for Sterling, going six innings and allowing two runs with five strikeouts and one walk.
With the Lady Warriors holding a 4-2 lead in the nightcap, Nichols came through again with an RBI single to score Kat Davis that set the stage for Renee Downey’s two-run double to chase home pinch runners Alayna Leath and Hunter Kincaid and give the Falcons the lead.
Walters, who came in during the sixth inning, polished off the second game win with two straight strikeouts in the seventh frame.
Sterling got on the board first in the second, but Davis had a big response with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning to pull the Falcons even.
Davis then put the Falcons on top with a sacrifice fly to score Isabella Gonzalez in the bottom of the fourth.
Sterling then took advantage of a pair of Falcon errors and got a two-run single from Ryleigh McLallen in a three-run sixth inning.
Walters pitched the final 1.2 innings and struck out three to receive the win, allowing just one unearned run that snapped her scoreless streak at 27 innings. She has still not surrendered an earned tally in now 28.2 innings.
Alicia Dunagan started the second game for the Falcons and fanned a career-high five with one earned run allowed in 5.1 innings.
Davis was a perfect 2-2 at the plate in the nightcap for Friends.
Edens also started the second game for Sterling (11-19, 7-9 KCAC) and went five innings, allowing two runs and striking out five.
The Falcons will next be at York College Saturday afternoon (Apr. 13), starting at 1 pm in York, Neb.